My contract ended at my hall/hostel a while ago and since I am only flying back on the 18th this month, I have moved into my sister’s house in the interim. Which has basically meant that I have spent every waking hour being around other people. I babysit the little nephew solo, about 2-3 times a week, and at all other times am on-call for any adhoc baby related duties or household chores. What I am trying to say is that, it’s been busy and I don’t get much “alone-time” at all. I thought I would get that while babysitting cause they don’t really count as another person and they sleep most of the time anyway right? Oh how naive I was. As an introvert, no alone-time = I hate life. Okay, so maybe that’s a little bit dramatic, but when I don’t get enough time to sort out the chaos in my head, I sometimes feel like I’m going to implode. I knew I was hitting that point soon so last week, I arranged for a “me-day” which was supposed to be today. But of course I couldn’t say no when my sister asked if I go out in the afternoon cause she wanted to quickly go get grocery shopping done in the morning. Basically the “me-day” turned into a “me-few-hours”, which was fine by me. I just wanted to enjoy a nice cup of coffee/tea, go do some shopping and get some Christmas presents. That’s all I needed to recharge.
As usual, the forces of nature weren’t on my side. It has been warm and summery here the last couple of weeks, but no, not today. The morning was okay, but slowly it began to get overcast and started to drizzle. Just before I had to leave, had the weather turned from light drizzle to heavy downpour complete with hail. Oh and did I mention it was 8 degrees (that’s in Celsius just fyi). Same time the day before, it was 30 degrees. I was on a mission though. No rain, wind or hail was going to stop me. I stepped out in the cold, wet weather determined to get my alone time. A 45 minute bumpy bus ride later, I made it into the cafe I planned to go to. I ordered my tea and cake and sat down when there was a notification on my phone. It was a WhatsApp message with list of things my dad wants my sister and me to buy back to Singapore. While I was reading it, I got a call from my sister asking if I could get those things. And that was the story of my allocated time to be myself turned into the time I ran errands for the family. I did get to have my tea but in between sips, I was sending messages to clarify things on the list and getting calls from my sister.
I love my family, I really do. All of them….The oldest, my grandmother who’s in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and has no clue who I am, to the newest, the previously mentioned nephew, who has a fight with me every time it’s time for his nap and who also probably has no clue who I am. But sometimes I wish I could just turn off all forms of communication and just escape from it all. Just for a while, just to let the dust settle.